“I was never an outdoorsy person.” shared Kayla Schween. “My aunt had tried to get my sister and me to attend camp at Horizons when we were young, but we just weren’t interested.”
After graduating seminary from Drake University, Kayla found herself in a transitional period trying to figure out where this calling would take her. She once again was encouraged to come out to Horizons and “just check it out,” she said.
“Seeing the views, being shown around by Eric and Molly, and hearing stories of the kids Horizons serves just sold it for me. There was even a field trip from New Glarus, where I’m from, the day I visited. All the signs were there.” Kayla said with a huge smile. “I was still hesitant about spending the summer outdoors but took the position of Program Coordinator in 2018.”
Kayla quickly found she could relate to some kids who didn’t share a passion for being outdoors like her. “I remember one little girl who arrived at camp and shared that she never played outside and only played video games. This camper shared she didn’t want to come, but her family made her. I can even see her cute pouting face.” Kayla said lovingly. “So many kids just don’t get to have these experiences. Camp isn’t just about connecting with kids from different schools and socioeconomic backgrounds but connecting kids to being outside. Many kids come from the city, and all families are different in their exposure to the outdoors. Horizons is this safe place where kids experience and try new things in nature. They always have their counselors by their side, nurturing and guiding them. To see their fear or hesitation change so quickly and drastically to excitement is just amazing. By the end of the week, they don’t want to leave. They have this deeper understanding, confidence, and relationship with themselves through what they’ve experienced at camp and outside.”
Seeing this transformation is why Kayla has been dedicated to supporting Horizons “Camperships” as a monthly donor, a Horizons Hero. “I want to make sure that camperships continue because every kid deserves a chance to go to camp and be outside and experience new things,” Kayla said.
We are so grateful to Kayla and all those who generously support Camperships to Horizons so that all kids have the opportunity to learn and experience the harmonies of connecting to God, self, others, and NATURE through camp.